Everything you need to know about thyroid removal

Thyroid removal surgery is used in resolving serious problems with thyroid, such as thyroid cancer, nodules, goiters and overactive thyroid. This procedure is also known as thyroidectomy. We will tell you more about this surgery.

Thyroid removal is done for several reasons. Patients who have thyroid cancer will undergo this surgery to solve this serious problem. If a thyroid is enlarged, it can result in difficulty breathing or swallowing, so thyroid surgery will be done in order to solve these problems.



Thyroidectomy is also carried out in pregnant women, in situations when hyperthyroidism cannot be controlled by medications.

If other methods fail, surgery remains the last option.

Thyroid surgery is done in cases when doctors or patients want to avoid using radioactive iodine.

In children, this surgery is done when parents don’t want the radioactive iodine to be used.

Thyroid removal complications are possible, so you should be very careful when choosing your surgeon.


Thyroid Surgery Types

We can say that there are three types of thyroid gland surgery.

  • – Total thyroidectomy is a complete thyroid removal. This type of thyroid surgery is the most common. It is used in patients with thyroid cancer and in other severe cases. This surgery is also used in Graves’ disease.
  • – Partial thyroidectomy means that only a part (or half) of the thyroid gland will be removed. This surgery is used for non-aggressive and small cancers located on one side of the thyroid gland.
  • – Thyroid lobectomy is the third type of thyroid removal surgery. Small parts of the thyroid gland will be removed to solve the problem.

Doctors usually avoid performing total removal of the thyroid gland, because this will most certainly lead to hypothyroidism. They usually prefer partial thyroidectomy in order to prevent hypothyroidism. The chances of hypothyroidism are a bit lower with partial thyroidectomy, but still, patients who have had this type of surgery have experienced hypothyroidism. That means that the chances for avoiding hypothyroidism are low in this type of surgery, too.

Thyroid surgery is not very complicated, and it usually lasts for two hours or less. If only a half of the gland has to be removed, the surgery will last shorter.

Doctors will tell you about what you need to do before the surgery and after it is done. You must tell your doctor if you have been using any medications. If there are any other health issues, your doctor must know about them.

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